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Hard brakes......


jmet's Avatar
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01-11-02, 07:15 AM   #1  
jmet
Hard brakes......

I have a 1994 buick lesabre with the 3800 v6 engine, it seems that my brakes arent as soft as they were when i bought the car. They seem harder then brakes on most cars and arent good for making fast stops. I drive allot in city traffic and they seem to get harder the longer im in traffic.

I dont ride my brakes, if i have to make a quick stop as is normal when a light turns red etc. i have to apply good pressure and sometime to the point the bakes want to (lock up?) and squell or sometimes ill get a slight vibration while braking.

I got an abs light that came on shortly after buying the car but the dealership said it was a leftover code and they said they'd clear it out and i havent had the problem since. As a side note my wife has a 1992 lesabre the same but older and her brakes are even harder but she has the abs light on all the time.

Any ideas or suggestions as a mechanic looked at the pads while doing a rotation and said they look fine.

 
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01-13-02, 04:06 AM   #2  
jmet
bump...

bump...

 
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01-13-02, 04:18 AM   #3  
Joe_F
Hard brakes are usually something to do with the ABS system or a bad brake booster. Lack of power assist is usually a bad brake booster.

 
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01-13-02, 07:52 AM   #4  
jmet
Is this a cheap part and is it easy to replace or better off for the professional ?

 
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01-13-02, 10:02 AM   #5  
Joe_F
Boosters run about 200 bucks or so for the part. Before doing that, replace the check valve that is snapped to the booster. They go bad. That's only a couple of bucks from Delco or any dealer.

You have to work under the dash board and outside the car. It can be done by the DIY guy, but you should pick up a repair manual to guide you through it.

You'll be on your back under the dash a bit

 
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01-14-02, 09:10 PM   #6  
Handycapable
They are probably glazed (shiny and smooth). This will cause exactly what you are describing. I would replace the front rotors and pads. You could also have the rotors turned if they haven't been once before, but I am guessing that they are only about $20 - $25 bucks apiece, so replacing them will save a trip to the store, and only cost a little more.

 
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01-15-02, 09:04 AM   #7  
Joe_F
Whoa Nelley.

Not yet. Check the check valve first. This is a common problem on GM cars and will cause a hard pedal.

Now the question I have is:

Is the PEDAL hard (lack of power assist)? This is a vacuum problem generally, not a hydraulic problem.

If the brakes "skip" or "chatter" that's a parts problem (calipers, pads, rotors, etc)

Watch out for those 20 dollar specials on rotors. Only use American or Canadian made products from a reliable source. The offshore ones can be of very poor quality.

 
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01-15-02, 01:47 PM   #8  
jmet
The best way i can describe it is that like most cars they arent soft and brake soft, they are hard and the car brakes hard.


To be seriouse thats how it seems to me, i hope that helps....

 
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01-15-02, 04:16 PM   #9  
Handycapable
Still sounds like glazed rotors to me, but change the cheapest part first if you want. But pop off the tire a see what the rotors look like yourself anyway. Smooth and shiny is not good. Not a hard job, and those $25 rotors are Canadian, at least on my FORD they are.
and yes, stay away from ANY imported part when you can.

 
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01-16-02, 05:54 AM   #10  
Joe_F
Yes, the Canadian and US made "offbrands" are fine. They match the OE parts for metallurgy and design. That's important.

Hard brakes or lack of power assist is generally a vacuum/ABS problem though

 
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